Winter, leaving behind its Kapha and Vata signatures, can leave skin feeling dull, heavy, and dry. Many people may notice that as spring rolls around, the skin erupts and tries to releases winter accumulations. Don’t worry, there are many ways to reduce or avoid having these skin worries as the days grow longer, the temperature gets warmer, and the world renews itself.
Ama (toxins) have been trapped behind the dry skin. As the world around us warms, the ama melts and tries to escape through the pores. Unfortunately, the pores are inflexible because they have lost elasticity due to the dryness. The face may be dry from the vata of winter or may feel like it is immobile. For some, the face may feel oily with eruptions, yet still feel dry or have little luster.
Regardless of your doshic constitution, here are some tips to get your skin feeling healthy in no time.
Digestion is stressed for everyone during spring. The internal fire, or agni, is starting to burn through the accumulated ama in the body. If there is a lot of ama, agni is weakened and must strain to break down foods. To allow your fire to burn bright and strong, avoid raw foods, foods heavy in dairy and improper fats, and foods with large amounts of refined sugar. Choose foods appropriate for the season such as arugula, asparagus, carrots, and avocados. If you choose to eat meat, reduce the amount of red meats, such as beef and bison, in your diet. For a list of recipes, please read the newsletter post about spring digestion.
During this time, try to avoid excessive fats. Stick to ghee and avocado oil to cook meals. Using spices in your foods will not only increase digestion power but also improve the cells of the skin. Add in spices such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, trikatu (ginger, long pepper, and black pepper), or fenugreek. These spices could be added to salad dressing when time is a commodity. Yogurt supplies probiotics to further power the gut and aids in balancing the microbiome of the skin.
After our winter hibernation, it’s time to get up and move! This is a time of year when exercise should be a priority several times a week. Moving the body will help get rid of winter ama and support agni. Furthermore, exercise helps skin be stretched and heated so it may detox itself. Simply moving 45 minutes to an hour a day will greatly improve skin condition. Yoga, brisk walking, or swimming can be enjoyed indoors or outdoors during the spring. Exercise also stimulates proper agni, further increasing skin and body health. Remember, be kind to the body and only do what it can handle. Kapha people should get about an hour of cardiovascular activity each day. Pitta people should aim for 45 minutes a day of moderate exercise that does not stoke the competitive fire. Vata people should get 30 minutes a day of activities that will build muscle.
During spring, the wind of vata can affect sleep. Make a conscious effort to be asleep by 11:00pm and to be up by 7:00am. Rest is needed to keep agni strong and provide the healing work necessary for the body to remove daily toxins and restore energy. After waking, make sure to complete your morning routine, which includes the skin care regime described below.
TOPICAL SKIN TREATMENTS:
For the spring, it is important to have a consistent skincare routine. This process does not have to take much time out of your day. There are four essential steps to maintaining and caring for our largest organ and immune barrier:
- Face masks (performed two to three times a week)
These do it yourself, natural skin care treatments will make accomplishing daily skin care simple.
- Fresh yogurt
Mix yogurt and rose water together. Apply liberally onto the face (including forehead and under the chin). Let the mixture sit for about 2 minutes, then rinse with warm water. Ensure that there is no makeup on the face before exfoliating.
- 1 tablespoon raw sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon raw salt
- ½ teaspoon honey.
Mix all ingredients together. Apply to the face with gentle circular motions. Include the forehead to the hairline and under the chin. Rinse with warm water. Note* If there is left over, this recipe may be kept in the refrigerator for next day use
Pat dry the face with a clean towel.
- 4 parts lemon juice
- 2 part rose water
- 1 part jojoba or almond oil
Mix all ingredients together and place mixture into a small spray bottle. Spritz this toner all over the face. This recipe can be placed in the refrigerator for next day use if there is extra.
Use light oils such as almond, rose hip seed, or jojoba oil. Use a small amount of oil on your face and body. These oils can replace lotion or moisturizer for the body.
BIWEEKLY FACE MASK
Every few days, it is wise to use a facemask to remove ama that is deeply deposited in the facial skin. This mask can be used on other body parts as well.
- Juice of one lemon
- 2 tablespoons Rosewater
- ½ tsp Honey
- 1 tsp glycerin
Mix ingredients together and apply to the face. Allow to sit 1 hour to overnight. Wash with warm water.
Your skin changes with every season. Keep agni healthy every season for soft, strong, and flawless skin.